Applying Ancient Wisdom to Modern Entrepreneurship: Passover Story Lessons Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 532

This year, the Jewish holiday of Passover begins on Wednesday evening, April 5. One of the most celebrated of all the Jewish holidays at home, the story of the exodus and freedom from slavery in Egypt, though thousands of years old, contains many insights and lessons which are relevant even today.

One important lesson is that of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity. God chose Moses to lead this exodus, to rise up and face Pharaoh, with all of Moses’ protestations and insecurities for the job he was about to undertake. But Moses didn’t give up the battle despite facing all the obstacles along the way. His determination to succeed can be seen in modern day leaders as well.

What does it take to be a leading entrepreneur today? According to Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, “Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.” Using your passion to fuel success is key and can be seen in Moses’ unwavering commitment to free his people from slavery. This forward movement did not come without risks and a leap of faith not only by Moses, but by the newly freed Israelites. Together they trusted one another, for a short time at least, that the future had promise and hope.

Collaboration is another lesson we can learn from the Passover story. Working together enabled the Israelites to leverage each other’s strength to achieve their common goal. Similarly, it was Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, who said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” In other words, by collaborating, entrepreneurs can achieve significantly more than they could on their own.

Finally, the Passover story teaches us about the importance of taking risks. When the Israelites left Egypt, they had no idea of the kind of future they will be facing. Yet, they took a leap of faith with the hope that their journey will lead them to a better future. This risk taking is essential for the entrepreneurial mindset. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said, “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” Entrepreneurs take risks to create opportunities where others view such risks as challenges or obstacles.

We can extrapolate many other lessons from Passover and the quest for a better future: Having a clear vision and purpose, to believing in yourself, being resourceful, building strong relationships, learning from failure, giving back, understanding the importance of perseverance and resilience, applying the value of collaboration and teamwork, and taking risks and embrace change. These lessons are a powerful source of inspiration for entrepreneurs looking to succeed in today’s world.

What applicable lessons and insights could you discover from the Passover story that will empower and transform your entrepreneurial journey? 

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